I'll start by saying I have no prior recording experience of any instrument. I've read up on recording an acoustic guitar and have come accross a variety of different views. I'm not fussy about sound quality (and I have no right to be with my budget ); all I want is an end-product that the majority of people would have no problem listening to in terms of sound quality. My aim is to record some songs with a single acoustic guitar (no overlaying) and vocals (separately). I currently have an acoustic guitar, an Epiphone John Lennon EJ-160 with an acoustic pickup: and access to two Shure SM-57 microphones. My budget is approximately $250-$300 for all further equipment. I know this is very little, though I'm not aiming for professional quality - only something listenable. My questions are: Do I need a pre-amp for this project? And if so, what is a good budget one for acoustic guitars? I've been recommended a Bluetube DP, which is on the top-end of my price-range (ridiculous budget I know, sorry ). Are Shure SM-57's up to the job of recording an acoustic guitar? I know they're not perfectly suited, though it would mean not having to buy a new microphone. If not, what is a good cheap condensor microphone ($100 or below, though perhaps more if I don't need a pre-amp) that would also be reasonable for recording vocals. If I were to get a condensor microphone would it be better than a SM57 for vocals? Which would be the best recording solution: 1) 2 microphones, each in different positions around the guitar (if you have any suggestions on position then please say). 2) One input from a microphone and one from the pickup of the guitar. 3) Single microphone. I have read that there are problems with recording an acoustic with two tracks and if anyone has some advice for avoiding these if it is infact the best option then please say as I don't currently have any ideas. Also for anyone with experience with Linux, is Audacity capable for mixing this simple arrangement? If not not can you recommend a different piece of software? I ask this because I don't have the money to mess around with different equipment till I find something I like and there are no music shops nearby where I can test different products The acoustic guitar needs to have a very strong and defined sound as it will be the only instrument (apart from vocals) in the mix. Sorry for my very limited budget/knowledge on this subject and thank you for reading this.